Matt Marantz Slant Legacy Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece Review

Today, I am reviewing a Matt Marantz Slant Legacy hard rubber tenor saxophone mouthpiece.  I have wanted to try one of these ever since I heard Joel Frahm play one on Youtube last year.  Matt Marantz was nice enough to send me one to try out for a few days and perhaps review, so here it is.

The Marantz Slant Legacy is advertized on Matt’s site as:

The Slant Legacy hard rubber mouthpiece is a recreation of the ever sought-after hard rubber mouthpiece of the 1960’s, the Slant Sig Link. Using the most up to date modern technologies and the absolute highest quality European rod rubber that can be bought in the world today. Matt Marantz spends up to 6 hours fine tuning the facings and hand finishing all the playing surfaces to create a tool for saxophonists that not only plays to the highest standards, but looks great too. Currently available in black hard rubber. Made in New York, NY.

Matt Marantz Slant Legacy Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

I knew I would only have a few days with this saxophone mouthpiece so as soon as I received it I opened up the package and started playing.  The mouthpiece that Matt sent me is his personal Slant Legacy that he has been playing for the last few months.  I was a bit nervous about playing his personal sax mouthpiece so I tried to be extra careful with it. (When taking the photos I found myself getting nervous that I would accidentally drop the mouthpiece off the deck……luckily I didn’t.)

The Marantz Slant Legacy tenor sax mouthpiece looked clean and beautiful. The table, rails, tip and baffle all looked perfect. Everything looked even and precise to the eye. The mouthpiece was a 7* tip opening which is a .105 tip opening.  I usually find Rigotti Gold 3L reeds to play easily out of the box on a 7* tip opening but the 3 Rigotti 3L’s I tried all felt a bit too soft for me. The Slant Legacy felt very free blowing and I decided to try a harder reed so I went with a Wood Stone 3 1/2 reed that I have.  The Wood Stone 3 1/2 reed played great on the Slant Legacy as did some harder Rigotti reeds I tried.  I decided to record a clip with the Wood Stone reed.

Matt Marantz Slant Legacy Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

The Slant Legacy saxophone mouthpiece has a nice rollover baffle in it which then slopes down into the large chamber. The sidewalls are scooped out and the transition from the baffle to the chamber is smooth and even.  The tip of the mouthpiece matched the tip of my Rigotti and Wood Stone reeds perfectly.

The mouthpiece really does look beautiful as you look at it.  As I look at the mouthpiece it just looks like it was crafted by an artist that really loves what he is doing.  You can see it in the perfection and attention to detail.

Matt Marantz Slant Legacy Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

I played the Marantz Slant Legacy mouthpiece alongside my Early Babbitt Otto Link 7* that I have been told was made from the Slant Sig mold and the two mouthpieces played quite similarly.  Both had a big full tone that filled the room with rich overtones. The Slant Legacy was a bit more free blowing than the Link and I emailed Matt asking about that.  He said that he preferred a more free blowing curve on his personal mouthpieces but could adjust the curve to add more resistance if a player requested that also.

The Slant Legacy tenor mouthpiece has a thick rich tone with lots of character in the sound.  It played smooth and evenly throughout the range of the sax and the intonation was very good.

Matt Marantz Slant Legacy Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

The free blowing curve of the Slant Legacy mouthpiece meant that I could play a harder reed on it.  I tried the same reed on my 7* EB Otto Link and it felt way too hard. The fact that you can use harder reeds on the Slant Legacy means that the harder reed gives a more complex richer tone in my opinion.  The harder reed also means you can get some nice volume out of the Slant Legacy when you push it.

That altissimo on the Slant Legacy popped out nicely as you can hear on the clip. You can push the mouthpiece to play brighter also which is nice if you play different genres of music and need to go in that direction. The fast runs are smooth and flowing which is a sign to me that the mouthpiece plays evenly throughout the range of the horn.

Matt Marantz Slant Legacy Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

The Marantz Slant Legacy is another great alternative to all of you out there that want a Slant Sig Otto Link but can’t afford that 1,000+ price tag that comes with a vintage mouthpiece. Even better, is that the Slant Legacy is worked on by hand by Matt as he works to craft the perfect mouthpiece for you.

If you dig the sound clip below and Joel Frahm’s youtube clip above you can contact Matt Marantz through his site at Marantz Custom Mouthpieces to try one for yourself.   Great job Matt!   Thanks for letting me review this great mouthpiece.

Let me know what you think in the comments below. Thanks, Steve

 

Matt Marantz Slant Legacy Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece-Wood Stone 3 1/2 Reed

Disclosure: I have not received any compensation or products for writing this review. I am borrowing this mouthpiece from Matt who was kind enough to let me borrow it for a few days. Regardless, I only review mouthpieces and other saxophone related products that I enjoy and believe will be a good choice for other saxophone players to try also.    Steve Neff
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Steve About Steve

Steve Neff has been playing and teaching saxophone and jazz improvisation around the New England area for the last 25 years. He is the author of many effective jazz improvisation methods as well as founding the popular jazz video lesson site Neffmusic.com.

Comments

  1. Joel Frahm says:

    Whoo! You sound great on that piece, Steve!!! Matt is the man. 👍

  2. Wow that Joel Frahm clip is amazing !

  3. I love your comments Steve! Congratulations on the excellent work, The Slant Legacy certainly caters to the most demanding.

  4. Mario Malette says:

    Mario Malette from Ontario,Canada
    Hi Steve
    Man,you sure have a beautifull natural tenor sound,,,just love it!
    My favorite mpc on tenor has become HR ones,Matt sure nailed this one!
    Congrats ,and thanks for sharing your clip sound and review.
    All the best
    Mario

  5. Marty Giaimo says:

    Hi Steve,
    Thank you for reviewing all the tenor mouthpieces for everyone to hear. Regarding Matt Marantz Slant Legacy, I agree with you and found it to be one of the best mouthpieces I’ve ever played. The tone is smooth throughout the registers and the intonation is great! I own two of these mouthpieces ( an 8 and a 7*) and they allow me to be extremely expressive when playing various styles of music. I play the 7* with Roberto’s 3 1/2 medium reeds and find them to be a perfect match for me. His mouthpieces allow the musicians to find their voice! Thanks again !
    Marty G

  6. Steve, we are the Marantz Mouthpieces dealers here in Brazil. Thank you again for your precious review. They are not a matter of copy, but something even better than the start point. The Marantz Mouthpieces are a kind of time gate. I would like to ask Matt to send you an alto Bros. Legacy. Your words always priceless, in all senses and deeply important to Grilo Musical. Thank you Steve.

  7. Is it good for jazz?

  8. Sean, Yes, it is great for jazz. I provided a clip so you could hear me play some different styles and throughout the range of the horn.

  9. Larry Weintraub says:

    Steve: Okay, so over the last few months you have reviewed all sorts of HR Otto Link Slant Sig knockoffs or improvements. The same for Meyer Bros alto mpcs. So IYHO which one s the best that either equals your EB HR Link or plays better than it. Which one would be your Go To mpc for ALL types of Gigs. You can either send me a e-ail or a PM on FB. That way you will not call anyone out. I will keep what you say to me confidential. Also included the $$ angle. Which one for the money is best, which one is best if you have unlimited SSSSS’s.
    Thanks Steve,

    Larry W

  10. Larry, you should read my article on finding the mouthpiece holy grail. http://www.neffmusic.com/blog/2017/08/finding-the-holy-grail-of-sax-mouthpieces/. I think it applies to your question. I personally would never choose to play my EB HR Link on a loud pop gig. It is loud by not bright enough in my opinion. That being said someone else might think it is perfect. I always go for a brighter mouthpiece for those gigs like my JVW Link or the Pilgrimage would work well. But those two piece would be a bit too bright for me on a jazz gig I think. My Barone Super NY and Okutsu Traditional II kind of sit in the middle for me as does the Robusto. Actually one of those three might be the one I would personally pick for everything. I think they are bright enough to cut through yet dark and fat enough to handle a standard. In the end, your question is impossible to answer because the one I pick you might not like. It’s like if I was on the bachelor and met all the women the first night and then you asked me which women you should pick to marry. I couldn’t answer that. I might be able to pick who I like but how could I pick for someone else. Hope this makes sense. Steve

  11. lweintraub1 says:

    Steve: I was primarily asking for students. I know the new “Vintage” Otto Link by Babbitt has gotten very good reviews. I was just wondering what you think overall $$$ wise and then if you had unlimited $$$’s.

    As for me I literally fell into a metal FL Otto Link 8* that I’ve been using since 1990 for almost everything except a concert band where they here w/there eyes instead of their ears. I have been able to do this by picking my reeds a bit more carefully as Dan Higgins talks about.

    I know you get a lot of letters so you may not recall. I was a career military band guy for 20 yrs. I played my metal Link in Big Bands, Rock Band, Jazz Combos, Show Bands, Top – 40 band, Ceremonial Band (stationary marching band), A real marching band and yes on occasion in Concert Band especially when we were doing more commercial music (ie, big band collections, pop stuff etc). When I did play tenor in a more “classical” situation I had a current edition HR Link w/almost no baffle. It was really dark sounding. However because I played clarinet well I almost always had to play clarinet in Concert Band.

    I found that if you play the mic and use a somewhat brighter reed then my Link worked really well in Rock Band. If I used a softer reed it was great for Ceremonial Band and Marching Band (lots of J.P. Sousa, Alford, King etc). If I used a nice fairly strong reed but not to strong it was perfect for everything else.

    I did read your Holy Grail article.I agree w/everything. Again I was mostly asking for student because there is so much JUNK out there mpc wise. For classical playing I’ve been pushing say a Vandoren T-20 for tenor and maybe an Optiumn for alto. For Jazz for my cost motivated students I’ve been saying the New “Vintage” HR Link for tenor and the D’Addario Alto mpc for alto. Then later after they are through w/me they can go their own way.

    Actually for alto I found an old white Brilhart 3* Tonalin mpc while cleaning 1 day. It really works very well on my Cannonball Raven Vintage finish alto.

    Well thanks and I enjoy your posts,

    Larry W

  12. Mike Johnson says:

    Hey Steve,

    Out of all the pieces on your site, I like you on this the best. I would be interested to read an article on personal perception vs. listener perception of mpc sound. Often I find that my perception of the piece/tone doesn’t match with the listener’s perception.

    Anyway, keep up the stellar work.

  13. Mike, That seems like it would be hard to do as 10 listeners might have 10 different perceptions. I’ve always wondered how my hearing effects things also. I’m deaf in one ear and have hearing loss in a certain frequency in the good ear. I’m sure that must effect how I hear my sax tone whether bright or dark. I would think the hearing loss would make it sound duller or darker to me where someone with healthy hearing might hear it brighter. It’s interesting as I have reviewed mouthpieces that I thought were a bit too dark for me and many comments come in saying the sound of the piece is perfect for me. Makes me wonder what effect that hearing loss has?? I’m glad you dig the Marantz Slant. I hope you can check one out yourself. Steve

  14. Larry Weintraub says:

    Steve: I listened to the clip. This mpc sounds really great on you. It sounds like you are having fun playing it. I still liked the way the White Brilhart Tonalin sounded when you played that. However I could see myself guiding students to the mpc, the Marantz. Sounds great, I’ll have to check out the price of one. Thanks for reviewing it.

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